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robertogreco : markallen   11

Rethink What Can Happen in a Museum: Portland Art Museum’s Shine a Light | Art Museum Teaching
"“Art is a space, which we have created, where we can cease to subscribe to the demands and the rules of society; it is a space where we can pretend. We can play, we can rethink things, we can think about them backwards.” —Pablo Helguera

As museums face the current challenges to drive relevance through becoming more active, participatory, responsive, and community-based, projects such as the ones explored in this past week’s posts indicate a potentially transformative role for artists to play. Whether rethinking a museum’s visitor experience, reinventing the public spaces of and around museums, drawing on creative practice to break museums’ ‘old habits,’ or interrogating the internal culture and working of the museum, artists are effectively exploring museum institutions as sites with a distinct “possibility for evolution,” to reconnect with the powerful words from Joseph Beuys that opened this series of posts (and from which the title of my paper came).

As the second International Museum Forum wraps up here in Yeongwol County, South Korea, I wanted to post this final excerpt from my paper, discussing the artist-driven program I am directly involved in here at the Portland Art Museum. In addition, I’m concluding this post with some of the “core, burning questions” that institutions involved in this work are addressing — especially as many of these projects are in a current phase of reflection and rethinking."



"Inspired by the Machine Project’s Field Guide to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art one-day event in November 2008 as well as the broader approach and process of social practice art, the team at the Portland Art Museum and PSU launched the first Shine a Light event in September 2009. For six hours, the museum was a space in which sixteen artists enacted projects that offered visitors new, unanticipated, playful and provocative ways to experience the museum.  The goals established during this first event—which have remained the core goals for this project up through the most recent Shine a Light event in 2013—included:

• Situate art (producing, interpreting, enjoying, puzzling over) as a living activity that everyone can participate in.
• Encourage an atmosphere of participation between the museum, its visitors, and artists.
• Make the museum a “site” of artistic production and practice.
• Inspire inquiry into the connection between art and everyday life.
• Have fun!

Artist-led projects that have been part of Shine a Light since 2009 have ranged from live Greco-Roman nude wrestling, a museum cookbook, dead artist seances, and haircuts inspired by artworks in the collection to inviting visitors to have a work of art tattooed onto their body, to sing songs about a work of art, or to display their personal cell phone photos within the museum’s photography collection."



"At the Open Engagement panel discussion, the top questions were revealed and discussed, and I think perhaps it is an appropriate way to end this paper by simply presenting these and other questions that are now sparking some open thinking in the field across institutions.

• Are we doing this work to broaden our audiences or to serve existing audiences?
• What’s the difference between an artist doing this work versus a public engagement or education department doing it?
• What does success look like? How do we measure success?
• What happens when institutions collaborate with artists? How can the questions artists ask reshape us as practitioners and reshape the museum itself?

Many of the answers to these and other questions are localized to each project and institution (some have even been addressed above by existing projects), yet certainly some common responses will emerge as institutions push ahead with experimental, participatory practices that open the spaces of museums to the work of social practice and socially-engaged artists, as well as museum staff that have been gaining a tremendous level of creative capacity through this type of work. Overall, many of these core questions bring the conversation back to the ability of these socially-engaged, participatory projects to effect change — whether that is shifting the ‘mindset’ for museum visitors as well as the communities that engage with museums, or a more broad social change felt in the community."

[See also:

Possibilities for Evolution: Artists Experimenting in Art Museums
http://artmuseumteaching.com/2013/10/14/artists-experimenting-in-art-museums/

Blurring the Lines: Walker Art Center’s Open Field
http://artmuseumteaching.com/2013/10/15/blurring-the-lines-walker-art-centers-open-field/

Getting a Better Sense of the Terrain: Machine Project at the Hammer Museum
http://artmuseumteaching.com/2013/10/18/getting-a-better-sense-of-the-terrain-machine-project-at-the-hammer-museum/ ]
mikemurawski  art  artmuseums  museums  arteducation  participatory  2013  openengagement  pablohelguera  josephbeuys  machineproject  markallen  hammermuseum  lacma  everyday  portlandartmuseum 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Mark Allen Artist Lecture on Vimeo
"The LA Times writes that Mark Allen is “Nikola Tesla by way of P.T. Barnum, with a dash of ‘The Anarchist Cookbook.’” Come hear a talk by Machine Project founder Mark Allen at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry: Step right up!

Mark Allen is an artist, educator and curator based in Los Angeles. He is the founder and executive director of Machine Project, a non-profit performance and installation space investigating art, technology, natural history, science, music, literature, and food in an informal storefront in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Machine Project also operates as a loose confederacy of artists producing shows at locations ranging from beaches to museums to parking lots. Under his direction Machine has produced shows with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, the Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, and the Walker Museum in Minneapolis. He has produced over 500 events in Los Angeles at the Machine Project storefront space, and recently concluded a year long artist residency addressing topics of public engagement at the Hammer Museum.

Machine Project events emphasize intersections between fields and practices, particularly where the arts and sciences meet. In a 2006 LA Weekly article, writer Gendy Alimurung described Machine Project as, “Nikola Tesla by way of P.T. Barnum, with a dash of ‘The Anarchist Cookbook.’ “[2] Machine Project facilitates conversations between poets, technicians, artists, scientists, and obscure hobbyists and supports work that arises out of unusual combinations of interests. Past activities have included urban plant foraging and needlepoint therapy based on classic oil paintings. Machine Project prioritizes accessibility, explicitly courting amateur practitioners and curious locals. Workshops are regularly offered in sewing electronics, soldering, Arduino and Processing for artists.

In addition to weekly events held in the storefront gallery space in Echo Park, Machine Project operates as a gathering place for local and visiting artists to produce shows at various cultural institutions and events in Los Angeles. Frequent collaborators include Brody Condon, Liz Glynn, Kamau Patton, Corey Fogel, Jason Torchinsky, Chris Kallmyer, and Adam Overton. Machine Project has curated performances at the Glow Festival at Santa Monica Pier and at several art museums. Through their Artist in Residence program, Machine Project invites previous collaborators to develop larger projects that generally include a pedagogical element in addition to performances and exhibitions.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and the CMU School of Art."
markallen  collaboration  participatoryart  2013  poetry  art  lcproject  openstudioproject  capitalism  machineproject  events  learning  education  museums  howwelearn  arts  audience  process  howwework  experimentation  gender  curiosity  identity  titles  ambiguity  adaptability  makerspaces  hackerspaces  community  communitycenters  collectives  horizontality  organizations  flexibility  accessibility  humor  riskaversion  risk  institutions  failure  risktaking  curation 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Public Engagement Artist in Residence Machine Project + Hammer Museum [.pdf]
"When the Hammer Museum embarked upon its Public Engagement program, thanks to a generous grant from the Irvine Foundation, we were afforded the opportunity to consider the roles of art, of artists, and even of visitors from a fresh perspective. It was a unique chance to put aside long-held notions of what guests often expect a museum experience to be—static and monologic at worst—and to enact what it can be at best—dynamic, with visitor and institution in conversation. Through Public Engagement, visitors have been able to step outside of their traditional roles as observers and to become participants. Similarly, we have been able to open up our process for working with artists and to collaborate on creating a new sphere, one that often exists beyond standard exhibitions and performances. Public Engagement has been one of our greatest experiments to date at the Hammer, coming at a pivotal moment in the history of the institution."
publicengagement  markallen  machineproject  ncmideas  openstudioproject  hammermuseum  art  experience  via:ablerism  museums  participation 
july 2013 by robertogreco
What Can We Learn from Artists’ Projects in Museums? | The Getty Iris
"More and more museums are inviting artists to go beyond hanging their art on their walls to create engaging visitor experiences inside the museum. At a panel discussion earlier this week [http://www.getty.edu/museum/programs/lectures/artists_in_museums_panel.html ], we invited curators, educators, and artists to talk about three pioneering artist-museum collaborations in L.A.

Robert Sain, former director of LACMA Lab, and Christoph Korner, partner at GRAFT architects, discussed their work on the Lab’s Seeing exhibition; Asuka Hisa, director of education and public programs at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA), and artist Olga Koumoundouros presented their collaborative Wall Works installation (detailed in a great interview on KCET’s Artbound [http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/wall-works-santa-monica-museum-of-art.html ]); and Machine Project’s Mark Allen and Elizabeth Cline (formerly of the Hammer Museum) discussed Machine’s yearlong public engagement residency at the Hammer.

Though the projects spanned three very different institutions and well over a decade, several common themes emerged. For more from the event, see the live tweets on Storify. [http://storify.com/gettymuseum/do-we-need-artists-in-art-museums ]"
lacmalab  robertsain  museums  art  2012  christophkorner  asukahisa  olgakoumoundouros  wallworks  artbound  markallen  machineproject  elizabethcline  hammermuseum  publicengagement  getty  artists  glvo  engagement  education  confusion  documentation  disruption  lcprocect  openstudioproject  lcproject 
june 2013 by robertogreco
ball nogues interview
"mark allen…'machine project'. they work in a kind of nexus, a community that is bound by mutual interests. this could be an interest in cooking, or gardening, mathematics, ad so on. they do workshops on everything, like computational crochet to baking with a light bulb… it's an approach to art & life…

advice to the young?

…it's very important to not be constrained by categorization…categories that define people in a particular way can kill a lot of good, creative

inspiration by trying to fit into a specific group…can be very limiting for people. I would always encourage everyone to be critical of categorical thinking…another thing that's going on is people are starting to disassociate their hands from their brain…there is no sense of meaning, materiality, or gravity in what they make…it's always important to balance those things out - but not entirely.

you should be able to dream as well."
ball-nogues  benjaminball  gastonnogues  loasangeles  architecture  design  interdisciplinary  craft  art  glvo  advice  childhood  markallen  machineproject  interviews  categorization  meaning  materiality  making  doing  make  life  openstudio  lcproject  learning 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Museum 2.0: Deliberately Unsustainable Business Models
"The underlying dysfunction...often an inability to focus on anything but survivability. To make it, museums need to survive AND succeed...important for museums to undergo an exercise in which you list out two types of things: 1. core services that people depend on and need to survive. ... 2. services you provide that make you awesome. What drives people through your door, gets them excited, and connects them passionately with your content? You should be able to point with pride to both the ways you support the community with reliable, consistent services and supreme awesomeness. The desire to survive will always exist, whether you run a small institution or a giant one. It's human nature to want to keep your job and keep doing what you're doing. The challenge is not to make it your primary goal."
museums  focus  mission  tcsnmy  machineproject  sustainability  lcproject  markallen  ephemeral  intentionallyephemeral  ephemeralinstitutions  openstudioproject  pop-ups  survival  survivability  risk  risktaking  success  2009  ephemerality 
march 2009 by robertogreco
7 Questions For Mark Allen of Machine Project - Dwell Blog - dwell.com
"Q: Would you say that having fun is an important component of the gallery's manifesto? A: Yes, being interested in the world and having fun is a succinct summation of the mission. Q: Would Machine be possible in any city? A: The semi-affordability of commercial real estate, the diverse communities of interest, and the excessive number of art schools makes LA a particularly fertile place for a project like Machine."
machineproject  losangeles  art  markallen  lcproject  fun  play  hacking  learning 
february 2009 by robertogreco

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